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spiraling intestines

Looping Bowel

I specifically remember that my colorectal surgeon told me about scar tissue after surgery. He said that after each surgery your body will most likely produce more scar tissue. Scar tissue does not draw a lot of attention. It is not painful! Let me rephrase that. It is not painful unless it starts to wrap itself around your intestines.

The pain started and I knew I’d end up in the hospital

Back in February 2015, I started to get sharp pains in my stomach. Usually when I get sharp pains, I automatically think that it is gas. I remember thinking to myself, “I will just lay on my side, and pass gas.” This should make the pressure in my stomach go away. Whelp, it didn’t. As the evening went on, my the pain started do get worse. I became very nauseous, and tired. I remember being at my friend’s birthday party, and having to leave. I knew that something was wrong. I also knew that eventually I was going to have to go to the hospital.

I thought this was a bowel obstruction

I started to think that this was a bowel obstruction. A classic bowel obstruction is when stool cannot pass through the intestine because of some sort of blockage. The blockage causes you not to go to the bathroom. It also causes nausea and distention. I had both!

I told my parents that I really wasn’t feeling well. I went to the emergency room, and they automatically hooked me up to IV fluids. The doctors sent me for a CAT scan of my stomach. They also stopped all food and liquids by mouth. I became very hungry.

Scar tissue was causing looping bowel

The CAT scan showed that there was scar tissue literally looping into a weird configuration. It also showed that the intestine was wrapped around the scar tissue. The doctors were concerned, and they needed a plan…fast.

The plan of action was quite simple. First they wanted to see how I responded to bowel rest. A lot of obstructions due to looping bowel heals on its own. You have to give you body a rest. The doctors wanted to keep me until I was able to resume eating and drinking fluids. I knew that it would be a few days because they would have to introduce clears, then small smooth food. I would have to show the doctors that I am no longer nauseous and that the food stays down. Finally I was not allowed to go home until I went to the bathroom. That was the big one!

Surgery was an option if bowel rest and fluids did not work

If this conventional therapy did not work, then the doctors would move me the hospital where my GI doctor was. He would then recommend me for surgery to fix the bowel obstruction. I was really hoping that this was not the case.

I really responded to the fluids, bowel rest, and antibiotics. The doctors did another CAT scan a few days later, and it showed that most of the bowel that was once “looped”, now became straight. We have to be very vigil about obstructions and looping bowel. Just because you had surgery, it does not void you from getting issues post surgery.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    2 months ago

    So happy you acted quickly and went to the hospital to get care. A looped bowel can turn serious really fast. Glad you improved!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • crystal.harper moderator
    2 months ago

    It really is so important to stay alert with out own bodies and I’m glad you were so proactive with how you were feeling. A great reminder for everyone to always be our own best advocate!

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